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Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

How to Get from Eh to Oz: Money

When you’re getting ready to study in Australia, it’s common to think of the major stuff like getting your student visa, arranging flights, and acquiring accommodation, but there are a few things that sometimes get missed. The “From Eh to Oz” team wants to help you ensure you can pay for your schooling and living and that you have a heads up about everything involved when studying internationally, including finances!

money

Predeparture prep: Let’s talk about money!

Today, we will discuss a few main points:

  • CIBC Contest
  • Cost of Living
  • Transferring Your Money
  • Loans
  • Banking in Australia
  • Tax File Number

CIBC and the Student Life Network Full Ride Contest

CIBC and the Student Life Network Full Ride Contest is open to all Canadians. You have an opportunity to win $35,000 for tuition. You simply need to get a new CIBC student bank account, credit card, or line of credit and join the Student Life Network to enter. You must complete this by December 31, 2018 to be eligible.

Cost of Living in Australia

The average international student in Australia spends about $390 AUD per week on living expenses, approximately $20,290 AUD per year. This figure really depends on the city in which you live, whether you live on campus, just off campus or in a less expensive suburb near your university, and how frugal or reckless you are with your cash! Check out the Cost of Living comparison tool to get a better idea.

Transferring Your Money

Throughout your studies, you are likely going to need to get money to Australia to pay your tuition fees and living expenses. In general, a wire transfer (called a telegraphic transfer in Australia) is the most effective way to do this. There are a few options of which you should be aware. Paying attention to rates can save you thousands of dollars (in some cases over ten thousand dollars) over the course of your full degree.

Over the last few years, OzTREKK has been a proud supporter of Cohort Go, an Australian company specializing in international student services. The company is incredibly responsive, and our students are treated well—as they should be! Cohort Go allows students to make tuition payments in their local currency and convert their AUD tuition fees at a significantly lower foreign exchange rate while eliminating extra international money transfer fees from the equation. We have found this is the cheapest way to pay your tuition and save as much as $15,000 over the course of your studies. You just need to make a local bank transfer and Cohort Go takes care of your payment from there.

OzTREKK isn’t any getting any referral rewards, we just really think this is one of the best solutions available for our students.

Loans

OzTREKK students usually use a combination of professional student lines of credit, Canadian student loans, and personal / family savings to fund their studies. Canadian students who study outside Canada are eligible for loans provided by the federal government through the Canada Student Loans Program, in addition to loans provided by their province of residence. Provincially, students from Ontario can received $10,000, while BC students can receive $20,000, and Alberta students can receive $30,000. Please note that these are approximate amounts and your student loan will be release after your program has commenced.

Banking in Australia

Many OzTREKK students recommend you open a bank account before you leave for Australia as securing accommodation is often much easier when you have an Australian bank account!

Some Australian banks allow international students open an account online from overseas up to three months before you arrive—and many OzTREKK students recommend doing this. When you arrive in Australia, the bank will require you to show proof of identification in person at a bank branch.

  1. Your letter from the bank after you’ve opened the account
  2. Your passport
  3. Your student ID or proof of enrollment
  4. Australian cell phone number if you have one

Australia’s major national banks include

OzTREKK also recommends that you have a Canadian credit card with a reasonable maximum limit to take with you to Australia. It is not the best option for exchanging money from CAD to AUD and paying for things in Australia, but it may be helpful for emergencies and when you first arrive in Australia while you are setting up an Australian bank account.

#OzTREKKTip: Find out which bank has a branch on your university campus!

Tax File Number (TFN)

When you apply for your Australian student visa, make sure that you write down your Transaction Reference Number TFN (also called Tax Identification Number TIN) at the end, and save and print copies of the forms and receipts. A TFN reduces the tax rate you need to pay, and is required if you plan to work in Australia and for lodging tax returns. International students who are enrolled in a course that is longer than 6 months are considered residents for tax purposes.

Organisations such as banks, financial institutions and employers are entitled to ask for your TFN. For more information about TFNs and to apply, go to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website.

It may be necessary for you to file a tax return with the Canadian government for the year(s) you were studying in Australia. Visit the Canada Revenue Agency for more information.

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Stay tuned for more OzTREKK Predeparture tips! Questions or concerns? Please let us know! Email us at info@oztrekk.com or call toll free at 1-866-698-7355.

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Start your study-in-Australia countdown right

Moving to the other side of the planet can be stressful. You’re about to embark on one of the most exciting journeys of your life, and if you let stress get the better of you, it can lead to unnecessary anxiety and forgotten tasks.

Start your study-in-Australia countdown right

It’s not too early to start your pre-departure checklist

Now is the time to be confident and excited, and the best way to be that way is to know you’re prepared. Ease your mind by tackling the countdown as systematically as possible. Let’s go through a list of the things you should be considering before your departure!

Documents

Print out all your offer documents, proof of enrollment, etc. Consider printing copies of your resume, references from previous landlords, banking statements, copies of your driver’s licence, etc. as these will be required for your accommodation search, and possibly when you land in Australia. Make a list of all the documents you will need, make several copies (as required), and organise it all in a folder that you will put in your carry-on.

Cell phone

Unlock your phone while still in Canada and use someone else’s card in your phone to test it out.

Travel itinerary

Keep an eye on your flights as they could change and not notify you. Find out how early you need to be at the airport.

Money

Have you got your Australian bank account set up? If not, now is the time to get that organised. Most banks allow you to open an account from Canada, up to three months before you arrive. You’ll need access to money/cheques etc. when you’re searching for accommodation (if you’re going to be living in a private rental), and many real estate agents/landlords will not take cash.

Location, location, location

Where are you headed? We have three words: Google Street View! It’s a good idea to look at your campus and city maps. Check out the transit schedule and snoop around your university’s website; they have an “international” section with lots of helpful tips!

Pack

Organise your carry-on (documents folder!).

You may not need to start packing now, but at least consider the main items. Consider what type of clothing you’ll need. Summer only? Winter? Believe it or not, Melbourne can get quite chilly during their winter months, June, July and August. It’s a good idea to take your fall items at minimum. Even Sydney, Gold Coast, and Brisbane has cold nights in winter. Start your packing list and get tips from YouTube regarding the best way to pack—you’ll get a lot of ideas! It’s also a good idea to include a backpack/duffel for when you travel in Australia.

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Hopefully this list will help you feel more settled and relaxed during this pre-departure phase! If you have concerns, please reach out to your OzTREKK Admissions Officer! Do you have any pre-departure tips? Send them our way: info@oztrekk.com.